Aerobic-strength exercise improves metabolism and clinical state in Parkinson's disease patients

Patrik Krumpolec, Silvia Vallova, Lucia Slobodova, Veronika Tirpakova, Matej Vajda, Martin Schon, Radka Klepochova, Zuzana Janakova, Igor Straka, Stanislav Sutovsky, Peter Turcani, Jan Cvecka, Ladislav Valkovic, Chia Liang Tsai, Martin Krssak, Peter Valkovic, Milan Sedliak, Barbara Ukropcova, Jozef Ukropec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Regular exercise ameliorates motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD). Here, we aimed to provide evidence that exercise brings additional benefits to the whole-body metabolism and skeletal muscle molecular and functional characteristics, which might help to explain exercise-induced improvements in the clinical state. 3-months supervised endurance/strength training was performed in early/mid-stage PD patients and age/gender-matched individuals (n = 11/11). The effects of exercise on resting energy expenditure (REE), glucose metabolism, adiposity, and muscle energy metabolism (31P-MRS) were evaluated and compared to non-exercising PD patients. Two muscle biopsies were taken to determine intervention-induced changes in fiber type, mitochondrial content, and expression of genes related to muscle energy metabolism, as well as proliferative and regenerative capacity. Exercise improved the clinical disability score (MDS-UPDRS), bradykinesia, balance, walking speed, REE, and glucose metabolism and increased muscle expression of energy sensors (AMPK). However, the exercise-induced increase in muscle mass/strength, mitochondrial content, type II fiber size, and postexercise phosphocreatine (PCr) recovery (31P-MRS) were found only in controls. Nevertheless, MDS-UPDRS was associated with muscle AMPK and mechano-growth factor (MGF) expression. Improvements in fasting glycemia were positively associated with muscle function and the expression of Sirt1 and Cox7a1, and the parameters of fitness/strength were positively associated with the expression of MyHC2, MyHC7, and MGF. Moreover, reduced bradykinesia was associated with better muscle metabolism (maximal oxidative capacity and postexercise PCr recovery; 31P-MRS). Exercise training improved the clinical state in early/mid-stage Parkinson's disease patients, including motor functions and whole-body metabolism. Although the adaptive response to exercise in PD was different from that of controls, exercise-induced improvements in the PD clinical state were associated with specific adaptive changes in muscle functional, metabolic, and molecular characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number698
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Issue numberDEC
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 22

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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